Gatwick Airport welcomed Norwegian’s announcement that it will begin three new non-stop long haul services to North America from summer 2014 today (Thursday October 17).
The routes include direct flights to New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).
The airport hopes announcement will mean that passengers using London’s airports will have a real choice about who they fly to the US with, where from and, critically, have a choice of competitively priced, good-value fares starting from just £149 one way to New York, £179 to Fort Lauderdale and £199 to Los Angeles.
Stewart Wingate, chief executive officer of Gatwick Airport, said: “This is one of the most exciting route developments since Gatwick’s change of ownership four years ago and shows the benefits to passengers of Gatwick competing with Heathrow on routes, price and service.
“Norwegian’s decision to re-establish London Gatwick’s links to strategic destinations in North America gives passengers, once again, real choice about how to get there and, importantly, provide options for affordable travel to popular business and leisure destinations.
“Norwegian’s decision to operate high quality services on new long range aircraft offering good-value fares to the US from London Gatwick is a significant industry game-changer. It points to a future in which more and more long haul routes will be served by Gatwick. This is an important industry development that I am sure the Airports Commission will want to look at closely when considering the future shape of aviation.”
Norwegian’s chief executive officer Bjørn Kjos added: “There’s great demand for high quality flights at a low fare between the UK and the U.S., particularly to and from London Gatwick, where no other airline currently offers these routes.
“We are looking forward to welcoming many new customers on board our brand new aircraft. Launching intercontinental routes between London Gatwick and the United States is also an important part of our strategy to expand internationally and get a stronger foothold in markets outside Scandinavia.”
Since its move to Gatwick from Stansted in 2009, Norwegian has increased its flights from the airport by more than a third.
In spring 2013, it introduced a UK base at Gatwick and started 12 new direct European routes.
In addition to Norwegian’s new long haul routes, it will be launching a number of new short haul routes from Gatwick in 2014, building on the 25 destinations it serves today.
New services will include Budapest, Santorini, Sicily, Cyprus and Corfu. From summer 2014, Norwegian will also increase frequencies on nine of its current routes.